Center for IT R&D

Tiako University


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Tiako University
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Multi-Agent Systems for Power Grids Disaster Relief  

Jean-Pierre Lienou and Pierre F. Tiako

Each year, high levels of power outage are reported from nearly all communities in the united states as a result of natural disasters like ice storms, hurricane. For instance, hurricane sandy brought high winds and coastal flooding on a large portion of eastern United States, leaving about 8 million of the population without power [3]. Another example is the storm which came ashore near Atlantic City, New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane, ultimately left scores of homes and businesses without power in New Jersey (2.7 million), New York (2.2 million), Pennsylvania (1.2 million), Connecticut (620,000), Massachusetts (400,000), Maryland (290,000), West Virginia (268,000), Ohio (250,000), and New Hampshire (210,000). Power outages were also reported in many other states like Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia [4].

Dr. Jean Pierre Lienou

Prof. Dr. Pierre F. Tiako

Storms do not only cause power outages, they also knock down hundreds of power poles [5], destroy miles of electric lines and dozens of power transformers [6]. By their nature, electric power grids are highly dynamic, non-linear network, open and widely distributed, which make them not only very vulnerable to natural disasters but also need a lot of professional crews at once to repair or replace components of the grid. It is easier for a company providing power to call in crews on standby to restore an electrical grid with small scale damages than one destroyed across counties. Natural disasters, like the ones described above [3, 4] may cause the necessity for additional crews from other areas, and this crew may not be necessary familiar with the job and/or the local city code must be called in. Such additional crews need help and assistance to properly do unscheduled jobs randomly assigned to them due to disaster emergency response.  

The kind of help computer scientists can bring to the table for technology repairs, in other to assist in the context of electrical power grid disaster are still missing or are in thier early stages [1, 2], or dealt most of the time with damage assessment and planning or prevention [7, 8].

The main focus of this research is to use artificial intelligence and multi-agent systems as core tools for assisting disasters, help power grid crews in analyzing, diagnosing, repairing or replacing power grid component systems.    


[1] Mohagheghi, S.; Javanbakht, P., Power Grid and Natural Disasters: A Framework for Vulnerability Assessment, in 2015 Seventh Annual IEEE Green Technologies Conference (GreenTech), pp.199-205, April 2015

[2] J.P. Lienou, E. Tanyi,  M. Nkenlifack and T. Noulamo.  A Tool Architecture for Diagnostic in Power Electric Network Using Method Engineering and Multi Agent Systems. ICONS 2014: The Ninth International Conference on Systems, February 2014.

[3] Superstorm Sandy: State-by-state snapshot. October 30, 2012.

[4] Assessing the Damage from Hurricane Sandy. October 29, 2012.

[5] APS: 485 Phoenix-Area Power Poles Knocked Down by Storms This Season. September 21, 2015.

[6] Storm knocks down power lines in Harrah. November 6, 2015.

[7] A. Kwasinski , Technology Planning for Electric Power Supply in Critical Events Considering a Bulk Grid, Backup Power Plants, and Microgrids,  IEEE Systems Journal , vol. 4 , no. 2 , pp.167 -178, 2008.

[8] H. Rudnick, Natural Disasters - Their Impact on Electricity Supply,  IEEE Power & Energy Magazine , pp.22 -24 , 2011.

[9] D.A. Reed, M.D. Powell and J.M. Westerman , Energy Supply System Performance for Hurricane Katrina,  Journal of Energy Engineering , pp.95 -102 , 2010.